Artisan warm crusty bread, sun-dried tomatoes and porcini mushrooms, imported cheeses, delicately sliced almonds, salty black olives, ribbons of select cured meats and the finest Italian olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
All washed down with a perfectly ripe kiwi-fruit liquado or ice-cold local or imported beer.
Welcome to Tayua, Ataco, in the beautiful Ruta de las Flores.
Being in a couple where 50% of us is an intermittently lactose-intolerant pescetarian (or 'fussy' as Andrew likes to say), can often eliminate a number of excellent eateries before we even set foot out of the hostel, and has been known to cause a few middle of the street arguments in the rather more meat-centric districts of Latin America. Andrew laments the days of the bacon sandwich and fancy cured meat selections, whilst trying to find enjoyment in veggie omelettes and tuna pasta salad. To find a restaurant where we both can get a satisfying fix, is quite a challenge.
On the recommendation of the owner of Casa Mazeta in Juayua, after a morning spent roaming the outhouses of a working coffee farm, we trudged through the deserted streets of rainy Ataco in search of Tayua.
After several misunderstood directions led to us getting drenched, but also past a rather rambunctious goat and his little puppy side-kick, we found Tayua, our calm in the storm.
Decadent pizzas are probably the specialty, but we opted for the half-veggie, half-carnivore suitable charcuterie board. Our expectations weren't too high as this is the sort of thing we've seen done terribly in other restaurants in Central America, where 'salami' is actually chopped-up hot dog sausages and 'prosciutto' is boiled American ham.
But Tayua absolutely nailed it. It was a huge platter with enough to satisfy both Emily's cheese fixation and Andrew's meat craving and every single ingredient was perfect. We'd have expected something like this in the UK for around £10, so $7USD was a bargain.
So, if you're on the Ruta de las Flores and fancy a change from the (admittedly excellent papusas), make your way to Tayuas.
Location: 2a Avenida Norte y 5a Calle Oriente, Una cuadra del Parque Central, Concepcion de Ataco, El Salvador